Two reports published this week provide a comprehensive picture of the current state of the UK’s General Aviation sector and make a series of recommendations aimed at the CAA, Government and the GA sector itself.

Two reports published this week provide a comprehensive picture of the current state of the UK’s General Aviation sector and make a series of recommendations aimed at the CAA, Government and the GA sector itself.

General Aviation was defined as “a civil aircraft operation other than a commercial air transport flight operating to a schedule.” (Everything from high value business aircraft to hang gliders.)

The Strategic Review looked at the overarching context within which GA operates and considered the main economic, commercial and policy developments in the sector.
The Regulatory Review focused on the detail of CAA safety regulation.

Key findings include:

· UK GA’s contribution to the economy is estimated at around £1.4 billion (equivalent, for example, to the turnover of Virgin Atlantic), the sector employs around 11,000 people, and on this basis represents around 8% of the economic contribution of UK commercial aviation

· Many areas of GA are growing strongly and there is no evidence of serious decline, although access to key infrastructure has in some areas become more difficult in recent years

· UK Government should consider making a statement on the value of maintaining a network of GA airfields

· There is a need for a more effective dialogue going forward between GA, CAA and Government and all parties need to work better together to influence legislative changes emanating from Europe

· GA needs to co-ordinate and present itself better.

Organisations represented in the Review Teams included:
Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators
Royal Aeronautical Society
General Aviation Safety Council
British Helicopter Advisory Board
Royal Aero Club
Europe Air Sports
General Aviation Awareness Council
Popular Flying Association
Helicopter Club of Great Britain
British Business and General Aviation Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
General Aviation Alliance
PPL/IR Europe

The aims of the Strategic Review were, inter alia:
• to describe the GA sector and explain its existing policy context;
to examine the interfaces between GA and commercial aviation, GA and the CAA and Government, and GA and the wider community;
• to discuss the major issues likely to affect GA in the future; and
• to liaise closely with the Regulatory Review as necessary and to make appropriate recommendations.

Economic and Social Value of GA
GA is perceived by some to be purely a leisure pursuit and the preserve of the wealthy. However this masks the real picture. In fact GA covers a very wide range of activities, has many participants, and is not insignificant in terms of economic size.
The Strategic Review concluded that an estimate of £1.4bn of direct economic contribution from UK GA in 2005 seems reasonable.
This makes UK GA roughly the same size as Virgin Atlantic, which reported turnover in 2005 of some £1.6bn.
It is also estimated to employ over 11,000 people in the UK.
The business aviation sector, which is growing strongly, makes up the lion’s share of the overall economic contribution.
On this basis, GA represents around 8% of the economic contribution of UK commercial aviation. This needs to be considered in terms of the proper balance of regulatory and government resources between commercial and general aviation.
The overall conclusion is that GA is a sizeable sector that is growing in economic value, and that in some areas it is also important as a facilitator of other business activity.

Summary of Recommendations

• The Government and CAA should take note of the overall economic and social value of GA and consider whether there are areas where national policy guidelines or objectives may be needed in relation to GA and its future

i) Government to consider making a policy statement on the value of maintaining a viable network of GA airfields, to be considered by those involved in planning decisions in the future
ii) Government to revise the CAA’s statutory objectives at section 4 of the Civil Aviation Act at the next opportunity to remove any suggestion of bias toward commercial air transport over GA

• There is a need for a more effective dialogue between GA and CAA and Government – with all parties needing to work to improve this.

Steps to be taken include:
i) establishing people as “GA focal points” within CAA and Government
ii) setting up a quarterly forum – perhaps by elevating the CAA’s current General Aviation Consultative Committee to a more strategic body and setting the agenda at the right level

• GA needs to co-ordinate and present itself better in order to put its case more effectively.
Its ability to lobby would be improved if it could coalesce around a smaller number of groups for interface with Government and regulator. The structure of European GA (where Europe Air Sports, the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the European Council of General Aviation Support are the three active representative bodies) may offer a model that could sharpen the focus and enhance the effectiveness of GA’s contribution

• CAA, Government and GA to work better together to influence legislative changes emanating from the EU with the aim of maintaining a fair balance for all aviation interests.
A current example is a need to ensure that the requirements for private pilots to gain an instrument rating are relevant and proportionate

• GA-related policy at all levels to be developed in accordance with the Better Regulation Task Force’s five principles of good regulation

• Government to consider whether the current VAT treatment applied to flight training places UK flying schools at a competitive disadvantage to those based in other countries and imposes too great a burden on the self-sponsored trainee

• Skilled labour for the UK aviation sector (pilots and, particularly, engineers) may be in shorter supply in the future as global demand increases and traditional sources prove less fruitful
This should be factored into future planning by industry, Government and the CAA

• Responses to the increased public sensitivity to environmental issues

To include:
i) GA redoubling efforts to be considerate neighbours
ii) CAA issuing all new pilots with guidance about noise
iii) A joint CAA-industry working group to be set up to review whether there are regulatory barriers preventing technological solutions to the environmental impacts of GA, such as noise and emissions

• Notwithstanding the development of any national statement on the value of a network of GA airfields, it is recommended that the GA community develop balanced and informative documentation to describe the particular facets of GA operations, for use in planning and safeguarding decisions.
Where an issue has specific safety aspects it may be appropriate for the CAA to publish material

• There is a need for increased awareness of GA by air traffic controllers and continued GA pilot education and awareness in relation to the risks of infringing controlled airspace
GA and all air navigation service providers should work together to achieve this

• Government to consider setting up a committee to examine the GA-specific elements of aviation security requirements

• Government to re-visit the 2003 Report of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on the Training of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in the light of the findings of this Review and consider possible further action

• CAA to publicise to training course providers that academic courses at the right level can provide exemptions to Part-66 examinations towards Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Training

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Summary & Recommendations

Recommendation 1
The CAA Board should take note of the disadvantage to UK GA compared with other regulatory models that do not seek to recover the total GA regulatory cost from the Industry.
Context - The UK is almost alone in Europe in seeking full cost recovery (including Return on Capital Employed) from the aviation Industry. This places an additional cost burden on the GA aviation Industry compared with Europe and affects the competitiveness of certain sectors within GA in the UK. (para 4.16.1)

Recommendation 2
When the output from the EASA Working Groups MDM.032 and M.017 is mature, the General Aviation Consultative Committee (GACC) should assess the effects of any likely changes to Regulation (EC) 1592/2002 as they affect GA aircraft and activity.
Context - EASA Working Group MDM.032 is debating the issues associated with GA regulation (and M.017 will start shortly). (para 5.4)

Recommendation 3
The CAA approach to regulating non-EASA aircraft should be investigated as part of the GACC’s review of the EASA proposals.
Context - Whilst EASA will detail how GA is to be regulated, this will only apply to EASA aircraft. (para 5.4)

Recommendation 4
The CAA, with input from Industry, should investigate methods for improving safety education amongst the GA community generally. In particular, the Group recommends that the CAA facilitates safety education for GA pilots through, inter alia, the medium of reinstated hard copy Safety Sense Leaflets.
Context - The analysis conducted by the Regulatory Review Group indicated a need for improved pilot education. In particular, loss of control in visual conditions was the most common accident category for all classes of aircraft. For aircraft other than helicopters, lack of flight handling skills and lack of training, currency and/or experience were the most frequently allocated factors for fatal accidents involving loss of control. (para 6.3)

Recommendation 5
The CAA should use the Group’s GA fatal accident statistics to identify high-risk areas for attention in flight training and biennial reviews.
Context - The analysis showed that the most common accident category for helicopters was loss of control in poor visibility and/or night conditions, which tended to involve pilot disorientation, whilst many of the fatal aeroplane accidents involved stall/spin scenarios. (para 6.3)

Recommendation 6
The CAA should carry out further work to investigate possible correlation between regulatory regime and GA Fatal Accident Rates (FARs) and causal factors. One area of investigation could be the licensing/training regime.
Context - The estimated FAR per 100,000 hours for the group of aircraft in the conventional aeroplane full regulation category were statistically better than those for aircraft in the devolved and self-regulation groups. In comparison, the FAR for fully regulated helicopters is very similar to self-regulated gliders, paragliders and partially devolved microlights. (para 6.3)

Recommendation 7
The CAA and Industry should campaign for a common standard for the collection of fatal GA accident information, including causal factors, from European Member States. This should also include an estimate of utilisation so that FARs can be calculated.
Context - Meaningful comparison of the UK with other States was not possible due to differences in the definition of GA and the lack of available information, particularly utilisation. (para 6.3)

Recommendation 8
The CAA should carry out further work to determine the most appropriate form of safety forecast/target to be used for GA, including whether GA should be divided into separate classes of aircraft or types of activity. This work should include a review of systems used in other States.
Context - The current CAA methodology for producing safety forecasts was considered to be appropriate. Safety targets are, however, notoriously difficult to establish and many questions remain as to their final form. (para 6.5)

Recommendation 9
The CAA should report the results of its Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Approach Trials as soon as practicable, with a view to expediting approval of GNSS approaches to all appropriate aerodromes used by GA aircraft, if so indicated by the trial results.
Context - The CAA is currently trialling GNSS approaches and is due to publish the results in early 2007. The results are expected to enable the CAA to assess whether the use of GPS approaches is safe and practicable in terms of design and flight management aspects, and is therefore fit for approval. (para 7.2.3)

Recommendation 10
The CAA should ensure, through monitoring, that any proposed increases in controlled airspace do not exceed the minimum required for demonstrated safety reasons and to satisfy the environmental considerations. In addition, the CAA should act to ensure that adequate and equitable access to airspace is provided for and achieved and have an active programme of periodic review of the need for existing controlled airspace.
Context - UK airspace is a national asset and private sector Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) are given the privilege and responsibility of managing it for all users. Adequate and equitable access to airspace should be achieved by an active CAA programmed review of controlled airspace requirements and monitoring of ANSP infrastructure, eg monitoring of access refusals to ensure ANSPs give appropriate priority to transit and GA traffic. (para 7.3.1)

Recommendation 11
The CAA should invite the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to review its policy on access to military aerodromes and consider addressing the issue of military controllers understanding GA (and vice versa) through the medium of Military/Civilian Air Safety Days.
Context - There is a reduction in GA activity at MoD aerodromes due to complicated access and indemnity requirements. (para 7.3.4)

Recommendation 12
The CAA should consider, in conjunction with the appropriate Industry bodies, re-aligning the current UK classification of sailplanes with the European model.
Context - UK sailplanes fall into four different categories compared to just two categories in Europe. (para 7.3.5)

Recommendation 13
Following completion of the MDM.032 activity and associated EASA Working Groups, the CAA should review its Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A)/Permit to Fly (PtF) policy to establish, where possible and appropriate, compatibility with future EASA policy.
Context - Several EASA Working Groups are currently debating Permits to Fly (PstF), the list of Annex II aircraft and the outcome of these groups will impact on future CAA policy. (para 7.3.6)

Recommendation 14
The CAA and the GA community should seek to influence, at every opportunity, the Commission, EASA and the European Parliament to ensure that the detailed preparatory work to extend the remit of EASA is undertaken at an appropriate pace to ensure that the future regulatory structure is both pragmatic and viable before ceding legal competence to EASA.
Context - The Regulatory Review Group is concerned that the Commission and EASA are moving too fast in trying to extend the remit of EASA to cover Operations and Licensing matters. (para 8.1.1)

Recommendation 15
The Industry/CAA officials on the MDM.032 Working Group should endeavour to present unified views thereby influencing the debate on how EASA should regulate GA.
Context - The establishment of the Regulatory Review Group in September 2005 has allowed the GA community and CAA to debate the options for a future regulatory structure. There is considerable agreement between the parties and it is therefore important that, wherever possible, a unified view is expressed in the EASA MDM.032 Working Group by the UK members. (para 8.1.1)

Recommendation 16
The Industry should consider further devolution and/or delegation, in conjunction with the CAA, in the issue, renewal of PtF or Cs of A, modifications and reissue of Certificates of Validity (Cs of V) for non-EASA aircraft.
Context - A CAA Feasibility Study has shown that there appears to be scope for further devolution or some delegation, to the GA community/approved companies, in some certification areas for non-EASA aircraft. (para 8.6)

Recommendation 17
The list of GA consultative fora, their participants and Terms of Reference (ToR) should be placed on the CAA website.
Context - The CAA consults extensively with many parties but the details of these groups are not transparent to the GA community. (para 9.5)

Recommendation 18
The Regulatory Review Group strongly endorses the concept of an Issues Log and recommends that this should be taken forward as a permanent mechanism for consideration by the GACC.
Context - The GA community has many issues with CAA regulation and would like to propose ideas for improvement and considers that an Issues Log would enable them to represent their concerns and ideas, formally, to the CAA. (para 9.7.1)

Recommendation 19
Whilst the National Air Traffic Management Advisory Committee (NATMAC) is in the process of reviewing its ToR, the GACC should also undertake a similar exercise. In addition, membership of GACC should be expanded to include the DfT and, if deemed necessary, other CAA Groups such as the Economic Regulation Group (ERG).
Context - Industry and CAA agree that, for regulatory matters, NATMAC and the GACC should be the principal focal points for GA debate. (para 9.7.2)

For anyone still reading and interested in the full Reports ~

Strategic Review: Link

Regulatory Review: Link

Источник: http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=235718